Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
We are raising money to support the re-mount of our John Bernd piece, which is being presented as part of AMERICAN REALNESS 2018!
We are raising money to support the re-mount of our John Bernd piece, which is being presented as part of AMERICAN REALNESS 2018!
71 backers pledged $4,746 to help bring this project to life.

About

John Bernd Shows at American Realness! project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
  • Off
    • English

$4,746

71

Hello and welcome to our Kickstarter!

We are raising money to support the re-mount of the award winning Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes From A Life and Other Works by John Bernd. These shows will be co-presented by Danspace Project and Gibney Dance for American Realness 2018 this coming January. 

Last year I co-directed this piece with Miguel Gutierrez as a re-construction and re-imagining of the work of John Bernd. John was a young choreographer who was very active in the East Village scene of the 1980's. He was one of the first members of that community to be diagnosed with HIV. After a brief but incredibly prolific career, John succumbed to AIDS complications and died in 1988 at the age of 35. 

Throughout his diagnosis, John created heartfelt, experimental work that combined choreography, improvisation, voice, originally written music and text, as well as projections of his drawings. He was a key figure in the rise of interdisciplinary work that dealt with identity and real life issues. As an ambitious young artist, he was determined to bring his work to audiences throughout the country and around the world. 

Unfortunately, John's life was cut short before those ambitions were realized. A few years ago I found a 'zine that John's friends/caretakers assembled ten years after he died. This became the centerpiece of last year's Danspace Project Lost and Found, which I co-curated with Will Rawls. In this platform we looked at the impact of HIV/AIDS in the NYC dance and performance community, particularly with an eye on recuperating the stories of so many artists and communities whose names have been forgotten. Variations on Themes from Lost and Found was part of that platform.

Interested in moving beyond the idea of just re-constructing a single piece, and also led by the desire to address the breadth of John's work, Miguel and I took different sections from several of John's pieces and re-combined them to create a new piece whose authorship rests somewhere between John's and ours. 

The piece was a huge success - we sold out all of our shows and just this past October were awarded with a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for Best Revived Work!

And now we have a chance to show the piece to even more people at the esteemed and renowned AMERICAN REALNESS festival. This festival is known for showcasing some of the most vital and exciting work being made today. We are thrilled to be able to revive this special piece, and we are very lucky that the performances are a co-production of Danspace Project and Gibney Dance Center. Our hope is that the presenters and producers who attend this festival will be inspired to bring John's work to many more audiences outside of New York.

However, we still have a shortfall in our budget. As I am sure you can appreciate, working with lots of collaborators means we have a lot of money to assemble. We have seven amazing dancer/performers - Toni Carlson, Talya Epstein, Alvaro Gonzalez, Charles Gowin, Madison Krekel, Johnnie Cruise Mercer and Alex Rodabaugh. We want to compensate them justly for their beautiful work throughout the rehearsal process and performances.

With your support we can make this possible! Please consider donating today! You'll see the list of rewards are very enticing! 

And please come to the performances in January! 

Thank you,

Ishmael Houston-Jones

Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and Other Works by John Bernd

co-presented by Danspace Project and Gibney Dance Center for American Realness 2018

at Danspace Project/St. Mark's Church, 131 East 10th Street, NY, NY

Tuesday January 9, 8pm

Thursday January 11, 7pm

Friday January 12, 7pm

Saturday January 13, 3 and 7pm

For tickets click here

conceived by Ishmael Houston-Jones

co-constructed and co-directed by Miguel Gutierrez and Ishmael Houston-Jones using choreography from John Bernd's work 1981-1988.

performed by: Toni Carlson, Talya Epstein, Alvaro Gonzalez, Charles Gowin, Madison Krekel, Johnnie Cruise Mercer and Alex Rodabaugh

music by Nick Hallett, based on original compositions by John Bernd

consultation by Jennifer Monson

lighting design by Carol Mullins

cover image by Ian Douglas

Risks and challenges

Putting on shows in New York City is always exciting and challenging. As I said above, we are so lucky and grateful that Danspace Project and Gibney Dance Center are joining forces and resources to support the co-production of this work for American Realness 2018.

But it has been over a year since we did the show last... and we want to do right by John Bernd's work! So we need to spend a good chunk of time rehearsing to prepare for the performances in January. Luckily we will get to do the piece five times in a week, but this means that we want to pay the dancers well so that they can focus on this project during their hectic lives here.

There aren't any funding opportunities for this kind of re-mount, which is why are turning to you to help us put the last pieces of the puzzle together. We hope you will offer what you can to bring this beautiful piece back to life.

Thanks,
Ishmael

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Rescue Dog

    You get a shout out on social media and our undying thanks!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Mutt

    All of the above as well as a signed card from the cast!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    17 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Chihuahua

    All of the above plus an original poem written by Madison Krekel after you offer a one word prompt!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Schnauzer

    All of the above plus a hand made and delivered pie by Toni Carlson! (NYC and environs only)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Prize Poodle

    All of the above plus a private Feldenkrais lesson with Miguel Gutierrez! (NYC/CA only)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Basset Hound

    All of the above plus a private Pilates session with Talya Epstein! (NYC only)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Siberian Husky

    All of the above plus an invitation to a private rehearsal before our next tour of the piece! (NYC only)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Golden Retriever

    All of the above plus a personalized birthday video made for you by Miguel Gutierrez! (sent to anywhere in the world!)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Great Dane

    All of the above plus a private voice lesson with Nick Hallett! (NYC only)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    St. Bernard/Best In Show

    All of the above plus Ishmael Houston-Jones will cook dinner for you at Miguel Gutierrez's apartment, someone will serve you wearing shorts, and there will be a brief performance of song and dance! (NYC only)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (32 days)